It’s thyme to celebrate a better food system! We received over 260 applicants in the first year of our Feeding Change Fund, created to help nourish like-minded organizations working towards our mission of eliminating food waste and building a better food system for everyone. Thank you to everyone who applied—we are humbled by your beautiful work and impressive dedication to help those in need. Want to apply for funding in 2020? We’ll be accepting applications until 1/19/20, so apply here now!
With the guidance of our advisory committee, we were excited to award grants to the following four organizations in 2019:
18 Reasons is a community cooking school based in San Francisco that equips their community members with the confidence and creativity needed to buy, cook, and eat good food every day. They are focused on creating healthy behavior through hands-on culinary and nutrition education.
They empower their students with classes that help them deepen their relationships with food and each other, and improve their health and food security along the way. 18 Reasons serves low-income kids, teens, and adults who reside in three Bay Area counties. 52% of their participants are enrolled in at least one anti-hunger program for people earning a low income and 72% of their graduates identify as Latinx.
Sonia, one of the students in their Cooking Matters for Parents course, shared:
“Because of my Cooking Matters class with 18 Reasons, I learned to make my own salad dressing for the first time, instead of using bottled dressings from the store. The bottled ones always go bad before I can use up the whole bottle. I throw out a lot, which is really expensive! When I make my own dressing, I can make the amount we need for just one meal or just one week. After seeing how I could make my own, I got interested in making my own version of other things I usually buy, like dairy-free cheese because my son can’t eat milk. I made my own dairy-free cheese from the garbanzo beans I got in class, and my family loved it!”
Imperfect’s grant to 18 Reasons will help further develop their food waste curriculum and translate it into Spanish.
Appetite for Change uses food as a tool to create health, wealth, and social change. They are a community-led organization in North Minneapolis that strengthens families, creates economic prosperity, and encourages healthy living. North Minneapolis is a community comprised of 75% people of color, with many residents experiencing the pervasive effects of economic and health disparities. Named one of the fifth largest food-insecure neighborhoods in the country, North Minneapolis is under-represented in retail services and new development projects.
Appetite for Change has a three-pronged approach to their work. First, they engage the African-American community to build awareness and urgency to grow, cook, and consume locally-grown, fresh food in an equitable, sustainable, and profitable food system. Second, they provide food-based training, employment, and leadership opportunities for teens and young adults. Third, they create, nurture, and partner with local food businesses to build a sustainable system of fresh and local food production and availability in North Minneapolis.
Colin, an Appetite for Change supporter, explains:
“AFC is building a better food system in North Minneapolis and, in the process, is on the leading edge of the good food movement happening all over the country. In just a few short years AFC has rapidly transformed itself from a small nonprofit leading family-based cooking classes to a dynamic hub that includes garden and kitchen-based nutrition education, community organizing, activities to support local farmers and farmers markets, managing a commercial kitchen, opening the Breaking Bread Cafe, and more.”
Appetite for Change will use their grant from Imperfect to develop a Composting, Recycling, and Food Waste Reduction lesson for their Youth Training and Opportunity Program.
Kanbe’s Markets works to eliminate food deserts in Kansas City by partnering with convenience stores in food deserts around the city to help them sell affordable, healthy food. Kanbe’s manages every step of the process for these “Healthy Corner Stores,” from produce purchasing and daily rotation to refrigeration maintenance, eliminating any risk for the small business owners. The food they stock is rescued from wholesalers or purchased from local farmers. Since their founding in 2018, Kanbe’s Markets have grown to distribute more than 20,000 pounds of fresh produce every month across 12 stores.
Their founder, Max Kaniger, shared:
“I think we can all agree: increasing access to fresh food is a positive way to promote healthy lifestyles, dignity, and pride throughout our community.”
Kanbe’s Markets will use the grant from Imperfect to wrap their delivery truck, expanding awareness and increasing the impact of their work. In the next 18 months, their goal is to grow from 12 locations to 50, ensure 150,000 people live within one mile of fresh produce, and distribute two million pounds of fresh produce to their Healthy Corner Stores.
Kitchen Table Advisors helps diverse farmers create viable, environmentally-sustainable small farms and ranches that can last. Sustainable farms bring about positive environmental, social, and food-system changes, and create economic opportunities in rural communities. But farming is a difficult business: the USDA reports that half of new US farms fail within five years, and at 15 years, the failure rate is 75%. Meanwhile, the industry has not been equally open to everyone: although 80% of US farm workers are Latinx, only 3% of farm owners are Latinx.
Kitchen Table Advisors (KTA) works to change this picture by equipping low-income, small-scale farms with the tools for long-term business success. They provide a minimum of three years of one-on-one business advising, including financial management skills, and help increase their access to new markets, land, and capital.
Libby, of Beet Generation Farm, shares the impact of KTA’s coaching:
“I am confidently the leader you see today as a result of having a friend who believes in us, a friend who tells it straight, as we ask the big questions around growth and commitment. How do you monetize the value of a true friend in your life? Kitchen Table Advisors is an entire organization emulating that relationship for our farm, and we are still in business and thriving today as a result of that relationship.”
Kitchen Table Advisors will use the funding from Imperfect to provide business advising services to sustainable small farms and ranches across Northern California.
Thank you again to every organization that applied this year, and congratulations to all of our winners! We can’t wait to see the positive changes you’ll help create across our country.
If you’d like to be considered for a Feeding Change Fund grant in the future, check out our 2020 application.